“ Brand: Lego / Theme: Seasonal „
*~*Introduction*~* Back in mid November when Christmas was fast approaching I asked my boys which advent calender they wanted so I could get them one ready for the 1st of December. When they had picked Mario chocolate ones there was then plenty of talk of a boy at school in Kieran's class who was getting a lego one, and though I didn't say anything to my boys I must admit I was intrigued to see what exactly they were like myself. After typing 'Lego advent calenders' into a search engine I was surprised to see that there were a few different varieties that were available including 'Lego Star Wars' and 'Lego City'. As both of my boys are lego mad and love the Lego City range I decided to surprise them with this version.. *~*Price, Packaging & Availability*~* I paid £15.99 for this from Toy Master which did state it was in the sale as it normally retails at around the £18/ £19 mark. The calender comes housed in a large cardboard box which is very eye catching with several lego characters on the front hinting at which items you may come across behind the windows when opened. On the back of the box it tells us that there is no assembly required and there is also a list with pictures of other Lego advent calenders that are available. Whilst there seems to be a plethora of information going on there is actually only a small amount which is in English but for more information log on to www.LEGO.com. *~*How it works*~* There is no rocket science here as this is just a modern take on the traditional advent calender and features 24 windows (or doors as my sons call them) sporadically placed about but instead of just a picture or even a chocolate there is a small lego character or something relating to the lego scene which is pictured on the front of the box. *~*Our thoughts about it*~* Once I had purchased this and had got home I decided to have a look at it myself before showing my boys. To access the calender you simply open the lid of the box outwards and the 'top heavy' part is the upright standing bit whilst the thin lid lays on a surface. The lid, once open, depicts a festive Christmas scene of a snow covered ice rink and river and the lego characters behind the windows all end up building up the completed 'city'. Once the first of December arrived my boys were very pleased and excited to discover this calender and though were very careful the cardboard between the windows tore on the first day. If I hadn't have seen it myself I would have said they were being a bit rough with opening it but on closer inspection the cardboard is almost papery thin and not very robust at all. Behind each of the windows the lego pieces/ characters are all in small sealed plastic bags and though this is aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 12 I found it too difficult to open myself and resorted to getting the scissors out on more than one occasion, so it's not very good at making children feel independent as the bags are just too hard to tear open without help. *~*Would I recommend this?*~* Firstly I just need to point out these negatives. Yes the calender does look very appealing, and I can understand why children (especially lego fans) would get so excited about it, but though the actual box seems sturdy enough the lid and the 'window area' are just very flimsy and quite disappointing as it gives the calender a tatty appearance before week one is over. That aside though the quality of the product is, as expected, very good being Lego brand. The characters are all easy enough to build up as are the vehicles that are included and behind each door there is a picture indicating what is in the bag with a brief description of how to build it which is impressive. Though the price I paid seemed expensive at first this is a good quality product that though can't be reused certainly is value for money given the amount of lego that is included. My boys have never been as giddy about seeing what's behind each door on their advent calenders before so to see them so happy each morning it's been a worthwhile purchase.